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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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      #19807 - 07/27/01 01:32 PM

This is such a great place to post questions, Oop and 143 and everyone that helps and gives a word of advice and understanding, Thank you.
10 weeks ago I had an accident with a syringe on a local bar. I went to the bathroom, the place was full, wash my hands, dry them with paper towel, pushed the paper towel hard into the trashcan and there it happened.
When I felt the sting and pull my hand the syringe was inside my hand and there was a lot of blood around the syringe. I did not paid much attention to it, but two nights later I had night sweats, shields and all the sysmptoms you could imagine, even the ones that are not related. I did some research in the web and I have more opportunity to get inffected than someone that had unprotected sex with an HIV+ person.

What do you think are my possibilities of infection and what should I do.


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Re: Syringe new
      #19808 - 07/27/01 02:16 PM

Dear Anonymous:

I certainly understand your panic. Let me first start by saying the syringe must contain HIV+ blood (the odds are certainly in your favor it didn't). Second, the syringe must have been used recently for the blood to still be infectious (HIV does not survive well in the environment) Third, it has been shown that open bore needles pose a much higher risk, which is the type of needle you indicate, so there is risk that requires testing. I would highly recommend you see a physician immediately to help see what your options are. If you were to experience an incident like this it is VERY important to see a physician immediately--here is why...It has been shown in studies that if you come in contact with the virus specific HIV medications may "stop" the virus from your invading your body if taken within 24-48 hours (This is quite common in the health care industry e.g. doctors, nurses).

10 weeks is sufficient time frame for testing, and you can be assured that any result you get from this test would be at/near 95-99% reliable. I would recommend you seek medical care immediately and talk with your physician about the risks involved. I understand how stressed you feel, but testing certainly is the only method of knowing for sure. Take care and Good luck

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Re: Syringe new
      #19809 - 07/27/01 02:18 PM

Wow... everyone's worst nightmare, huh?

The good news: 2 days is WAY too early to start worrying about night sweats being related to HIV infection. There are lots of variables that come into play with a possible exposure like that - most of my own research revolves around sexual exposure, since that's *my* possible risk, but here's what I know:
1 - If the blood around the syringe was yours, that's a good thing. You don't indicate if it was coming from the location of the stick, or if it was already on the syringe.
2 - If the syringe was in the trash can, there's probably a good chance that you're dealing with someone who isn't in the habit of reusing needles; maybe that means they're not in the habit of sharing either, but who knows?
3 - At 10 weeks, you're definitely far enough along to take an antibody test and get a very strong indicator of your status.
4 - There's some conflicting information on the web about how long HIV can live inside a syringe. I would think that sitting in a trashcan in a bar isn't the most hospitable environment for it, but I don't have any stats to offer in that direction.

Have you talked to a doctor about this one? *I* sure as hell would. My advice: go test NOW, see where you stand. Ok, so it's two weeks before the 12 week window; I'd do it anyway, if only because I personally wouldn't be able to stand it. I'd also test at 12 weeks and, if negative then, would figure I was out of the woods. And then I'd follow up with a 6 months test to lock the door once and for all.

Good luck - let us know how it goes.

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Re: Syringe new
      #19811 - 07/27/01 02:33 PM

I'm glad and happy there still people like you in this world.
I will get test by the end of next week (I'm out of town). Believe me, I'm not doing any partying at all.
I will let you know.


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